Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Stage

Musical version of 'Young Frankenstein' opens Sept. 10 at Richey Suncoast Theatre

NEW PORT RICHEY — Fans of Mel Brooks (The Producers, Blazing Saddles) will get a chance to see the musical version of what Brooks himself described as his best film, Young Frankenstein, at Richey Suncoast Theatre. It opens Sept. 10 and continues weekends through Sept. 27.

The show is based on Brooks' 1974 film spoof of the 1931 movie version of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, starring Boris Karloff. It has the same characters and general story as Brooks' film, with some surprising plot differences and the addition of Broadway-style musical numbers.

And — good news for the audience — the Richey Suncoast version stars several of the award-winning actors who played in the theater's blockbuster musical two seasons ago, Spamalot, and last season's big award-winner, Bye Bye Birdie.

The musical opens in 1934, as the residents of Transylvania Heights celebrate the death of the mad scientist Dr.Victor von Frankenstein (Jeffrey D'Augustino, Mayor in Bye Bye Birdie), creator of the terrible monster that rampaged through their village creating mayhem.

But, wait. There's a grandson, Frederick Frankenstein, Dean of Anatomy at New York's Johns, Miriam and Anthony Hopkins School of Medicine. Frederick (Brian Moran, Charlie Award as Not Dead Fred in Spamalot), lectures about The Brain, but he isn't proud of his name and insists it be pronounced "Fronkensteen."

Even so, he must go settle his grandfather's estate, leaving behind his touch-me-not fiancee, Elizabeth Banning (Cherie in Bus Stop at Stage West Community Playhouse). In Transylvania, Frederick meets the hunchback Igor (Patrick Moran, Charlie Awards as Robin in Spamalot and Albert in Bye Bye Birdie), the grandson of the the late doctor's henchman.

Igor has hired the voluptuous Inga (Brittany Gonzalez) to be Frederick's assistant, and she invites him for a Roll in the Hay on the way to the castle. Once there, they meet the strangely mysterious Frau Blucher (Patty Gonzalez), who was usually devoted to the late Dr. Frankenstein (He Vas My Boyfriend). Soon, Frederick is convinced to continue his grandfather's work — and that's when all the trouble begins.

Will the new Monster (Ike Henthorn) be as brilliant as Frederick hopes, or will he wreak havoc as his predecessor did? Will the wacky Inspector Kemp (Mitchell Gonzalez, Charlie Award as Conrad Birdie in Birdie) lead the townspeople to an uprising against Frederick and his creation? How much can go wrong when the Monster is welcomed into the home of the blind hermit Harold (Patrick Gonzalez, Charlie as Lancelot in Spamalot)? And what will happen when Elizabeth shows up at the Transylvania castle and finds her fiance Frederick and Inga in flagrant delicto?

Those who have seen the Brooks movie may think they know the answers, but Brooks has changed the plot twists just enough to provide a whole new direction. And the addition of music and dance changes the feel of the show, but not so much as to lessen the fun.

The director is Jillian Buyea, who also directed last season's State Fair. The choreographer is Jade Banks, who also did Bye Bye Birdie. The music director is Michele Rose.

There's also a chorus/ensemble of 16 singers and dancers.

Comments
Performances, songwriting get ‘Waitress’ from serviceable to filling — plus, there’s actually pie

Performances, songwriting get ‘Waitress’ from serviceable to filling — plus, there’s actually pie

TAMPA — A lonely and changeable sky illuminates the top of the stage through most of Waitress, running this week at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. The neon lettering of Joe’s Diner reflects days and nights that don’t differ en...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Jobsite cues up ‘1984,’ ‘50 Shades’ parody’s Danielle Trzcinski premieres ‘Little Black Dress’

Jobsite cues up ‘1984,’ ‘50 Shades’ parody’s Danielle Trzcinski premieres ‘Little Black Dress’

MINISTRY OF JOBSITE: 1984When selecting an adaptation for George Orwell’s 1984 (there have been a few of them), Jobsite Theater had to strike the most controversial one off the list. That version by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan ran for 125 perfor...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Review: American Stage hits ‘The Producers’ out of the park

Review: American Stage hits ‘The Producers’ out of the park

ST. PETERSBURG — Without question, Mel Brooks’ The Producers carved a more indelible mark than most of the musicals in the entire genre of throwaway musicals it parodied.The creator of Get Smart and Blazing Saddles not only co-wrote the adaptation of...
Published: 04/23/18
The Holocaust connection that makes the Florida Orchestra’s Verdi ‘Requiem’ concert special

The Holocaust connection that makes the Florida Orchestra’s Verdi ‘Requiem’ concert special

The Florida Orchestra puts another exclamation point on its 50th season with Verdi’s Requiem, this weekend’s concert series, a major presentation of an iconic work. Composed by Giuseppe Verdi, Requiem debuted in 1874 but took on a new layer of signif...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18
Freefall flavors 2018-2019 season with comedies and a pair of musicals

Freefall flavors 2018-2019 season with comedies and a pair of musicals

ST. PETERSBURG — In the coming season, Freefall Theatre is rolling out a world premiere, a different take on Christmas, a sharp comedy and a recent work by Pulitzer winner Lynn Nottage. The theme for the 2018-2019 season, "A Brighter Tomorrow," color...
Published: 04/19/18
Desi Oakley savors pie making in ‘Waitress,’ orchestra does Verdi’s Requiem

Desi Oakley savors pie making in ‘Waitress,’ orchestra does Verdi’s Requiem

HEAD WAITRESS: DESI OAKLEYThe blue collar mother who drives the plot of Waitress never thought she could win a pie-making contest, let alone start a business."She doesn’t even have the capacity to understand that she could do this," said Desi Oakley,...
Published: 04/18/18
American Stage sets the table for a splashy park musical ‘The Producers’

American Stage sets the table for a splashy park musical ‘The Producers’

ST. PETERSBURG ­— Think early evening, daylight saving version. The earth turning away, light fading in Demens Landing Park — everywhere except the stage, which is trying its best to resurrect midday. "It looks like New York City at nigh...
Published: 04/17/18
Updated: 04/18/18
Brooksville’s Live Oak Theatre presents ‘ReUnKnighted,’ a medieval misadventure

Brooksville’s Live Oak Theatre presents ‘ReUnKnighted,’ a medieval misadventure

BROOKSVILLE — How about a story about two knights who gain their knighthood, lose it, then gain it back, only to lose it again?That was the concept Kyle Marra pitched nearly three years ago to Randi Olsen, founder and creative director for the Live O...
Published: 04/17/18
Bilingual ‘In the Time of the Butterflies’ shines a light on brutal regime

Bilingual ‘In the Time of the Butterflies’ shines a light on brutal regime

TAMPA — Tampa made its cigars with indispensable help from Cuban immigrants. Today, 22 percent of the population is of Hispanic origin, as defined by the U.S. Census. The Tampa Bay area has increasingly and proudly defined itself as a thriving perfor...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/18/18
Review: ‘I’ll Be Back’ at Stage West mixes creepy with shocking

Review: ‘I’ll Be Back’ at Stage West mixes creepy with shocking

The murder mystery/thriller I’ll Be Back Before Midnight is loaded with potential. Playwright Peter Colley’s spooky, sometimes creepy, script has lots of surprises, scary moments and a few jokes to break the tension.And the production at Stage West C...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18